Thursday, July 30, 2009

Thursday word: vilipend

Vilipend

1. to regard or treat as of little value or account.
2. to vilify; depreciate.


~Dictionary.com

My big, but admittedly not exhaustive, Oxford Canadian Dictionary (Thumb Index Edition) doesn't have this word. That shocked me because this dictionary has a whole lot of words and I trust it, but I'll take a chance with dictionary.com this week.

I think I'll use vilipend in my normal life. After all, I have a tendency to vilipend things especially if Canadian politics are involved. Or any politics, really, but now that I'm working for the government... In reality, I wish I could simply vilipend them (as in definition 1), but I often find it difficult to be truly dismissive.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Wrong sides

Sometimes wrong sides are called wrong sides for a reason. I like to look at them anyway, to see what's hidden, and sometimes it's surprising.

Photobucket

I like the look of Decimal from the underside. Maybe I'll wear it inside-out...

Photobucket

It's the raised knit ridges that do it. Or maybe the scribbly-looking SK2P bits. I just find it texturally interesting.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Word Thursday: celadon, and WIP

Celadon :
1. a pale greyish shade of green.
2. a grey-green glaze used on some pottery or porcelain
3. Chinese pottery or porcelain glazed in this way

~ The Canadian Oxford

I found this one on the Phrontistery, a neat site that compiles obscure words, lost words, fun words... There's a whole section dedicated to describing colour.

Photobucket

And on that note... Decimal. It only looks so pale, (so celadon?) because the lighting isn't ideal. The real colour is slightly darker, though it certainly isn't deep green. A quick image search for "celadon pottery" on google yield a range of grey/jade greens, some of which do resemble the colour I'm using.

Photobucket

This picture shows the colour a little better, but darker than it really is. I really need to think out my composition a little more when hurriedly taking WIP photos... No more messy table photos. This is my progress before the trip to London: I'm now working on the waist/neck shaping. So far so good, despite some minor mistakes resulting from my failure to pay attention.

There we are. Celadon decimal. I like it.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Mission accomplished

I've been to London (ON) and found an apartment! And it's not an oubliette at all - doors, windows, and everything! Stressful and frustrating, but it worked out in the end.

cue angel chorus

Plus, London is much nicer in the summer than it was in the winter. Too bad I've signed myself up for the next two terms of slush. I may have two months before it snows... Anyway, my timing was awesome enough that we took in some of the free Home County Folk Festival in between house appointments, including a couple daytime workshops involving Elliott Brood. Woo! I think they've got growlier/screechier since I saw them last, which is too bad - don't get me wrong, I like the gruffness and the hollering, but this sounded like it hurt. Hopefully it's a temporary change.
Photobucket
Ladybug enjoying Elliott Brood

I wasn't too fond of some of the whiny guitar boys who shared the stage with Elliott Brood at one workshop, but the other workshop was a whole different thing, yielding the big discovery of the weekend: The Dust Poets! I love it when accordians and clarinets chime in and everyone sings lead at some point. Plus stompety stomping music and clever lyrics. Yay! Here's a fun example from youtube, not from this particular festival, and not the best quality, but still pretty fun.



And I didn't notice this until I got the picture off the camera, but look who's hiding out in London Ontario's pretentiously/unoriginally named "Covent Garden Market"?

hiding
Hint: near the pineapple

With 7 hours in the car there and back and a generous mum doing the driving since I'm a dead-beat failure of the graduated licensing system, there was indeed knitting. More on that later.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Word Thursday

I like words. Everyone says that and it's a bit of a cliché, but it's true. I like weird, pretentious words. I like words that sound good and seem apt. And I consider myself literate, but I use too many of the same words over and over. I'm prone to forgetting new exciting words before I have a chance to use them.

These are some reasons behind one of my 101 in 1001 goals: Learn 150 words. I want to learn new words that I'll actually use, but also new ones that are just fun. Plus, I thought adding a regular feature to this blog might be fun and just might help my erratic posting schedule a little.

So, Word Thursday, everyone.

The first word is oubliette.

a secret dungeon with access only through a trap door ~The Canadian Oxford

I think this falls into the fun rather than useful category, but you never know; I'm going house hunting this weekend and perhaps I'll find a cozy little oubliette to fill with yarn and books and spend long winter nights toiling over incomprehensible readings. Or perhaps that'll be all I can afford!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Festival addict

I went to Jazzfest nearly every night when it was on for two weeks in June. It was exhausting but I really got into the rhythm of working all day and sitting outside listening to jazz all night. Even when it was pouring; we got a good system worked out hiding underneath large ponchos... And when it was over, rather than being relieved I was already looking for the next excuse to spend the night listening to music outdoors.

I didn't get a pass for Bluesfest, but I went on Thursday night specifically to see Iron and Wine, and I was not disappointed. Sam Beam didn't have a band with him, but he didn't need one. I thought I'd miss it, since I love the recorded arrangements, but it was just brilliant. Gush gush. He played a variety of songs from various albums, which I loved.

The stage he played on faced the river and a gorgeous orange sunset that I stole glances at during the show. For once the weather cooperated, but it's back to pouring rain today.

In the spirit of reliving Thursday night's awesomeness, here are some youtube clips of Iron and Wine. (not mine and not from the Ottawa show).



Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Summer baking

Photobucket

One of my goals for the indeterminate future is to improve my food-photography skills. To do this I need to take more pictures of food, for a start. One reason I don't is because I seem to do all my baking at night, and flashed out food photos aren't too appealing.

But summer means more daylight and a forest of rhubarb in the back yard; combined, here's my latest effort.

Photobucket

Rhubarb Muffins
(heavily adapted from a recipe I found on the internet years ago and have since forgotten where)

2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour, or a mixture of whole wheat and white
2/3 cup brown sugar
3 tsp baking powder
pinch salt
1 cup milk
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 egg, beaten
2 cups finely chopped rhubarb

Mix wet and dry ingredients separately, then mix them together. Fold in rhubarb.
Bake at 375 F for 20-25 minutes. Makes about a dozen muffins if you're using a large muffin tin and "giant" baking cups.

These are quite tart, which I appreciate in rhubarb!

Thursday, July 02, 2009

101 in 1001 update and auspicious beginnings?

In June I only completed two items from my list. Shameful.

33. Read Neal Stephenson’s Cryptonomicon (June 2009)
Brilliant. Oh so brilliant, and enjoyable especially after reading The Baroque Cycle last year. I think in the end I loved the Baroque Cycle more, but both are so full, engaging, and well-written.
97. Go to 3 jazz concerts [3/3]
I've been at the Jazz Festival nearly every night for the last week and a half. More on that in another post, perhaps. Good times!

But I got started one another long running one:
30. Read at least 10 works of non-fiction [1/10]
I read Three Cups of Tea, by Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin. A good read that left me shaking my head at the simultaneous incompetence and brilliance of its subject. What a crazy guy, but hey - crazy people get things done, I guess. Next in this category I'm reading Jewish Pirates of the Caribbean; I have high hopes but doubt it will live up to its title. We'll see!

I nearly completed #45. Read The Brothers Karamazov. Would you believe that people are requesting this book all over the place meaning that with less than 100 pages to go, I had to return it the other day instead of renewing it? I was shocked to find people requesting Dostoevsky as summer reading, though that's hypocrital of me, since that's exactly what I did. Like the good library student I am, I returned it rather than face a fine and requested it again. Ha. So that'll be a July completion, hopefully.

In other news...
Photobucket

That's the auspicious beginning of Decimal. I say "auspicious" because for the first time possibly EVER*, as shown by the photo, I cast on enough stitches without running out of tail! Just barely. If I was smart, I'd measure more vigilantly to avoid having to start over multiple times. But somehow that never occurs to me right when I'm leaping into a project. Weee!

*Okay, probably not the first time ever, but it feels like it.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Completely seasonally inappropriate FO: Basic Black (charcoal-gray)

Photobucket

Just in time for Canada Day... (hence the red shirt because I'm so patriotic?)

Basic Black by Glenna C.

Yarn
I used some anonymous German basement yarn that my mom might have bought before I was born. This was previously a Gilmore Vest that I finished last summer, but it didn't fit me properly so I frogged it. It's a blend of wool, alpaca, and something synthetic, and it's very fuzzy: frogging was a slow and painful process, which is part of the reason why this took me 6 months to knit. Unfortunately the yarn is just a tad itchier than I thought...

Firsts:
First set in sleeves! First proper cardigan with seaming and everything!

Notes:
I knit the 35 size and added 1" of stockinette after the ribbing and before the waist shaping as suggested in the pattern, since I have a long torso. It might have been long enough without the addition, but it's cozy as is.

Photobucket

The buttons are plain black plastic ones from the overflowing basement button collection - I'm glad my mom is happy for me to help use her old stash. As a result, this sweater cost me nothing other than time.

The sleeves are a little roomier than I wanted, but they're okay. I should have lengthened the sleeves since I'll likely wear this over long-sleeved shirts in the winter, but I initially thought I wouldn't have enough yarn. Turns out I have some left, but oh well. This will do.

It's finished! Finally! At least I won't be scrambling to find a warm sweater once winter comes. With Ottawa's recent 30-degree weather, it was a struggle to make myself work on it, but I'm glad it's done.